The other day some friends arrived with a great rib of sirloin beef from Waitrose (a sorry gift – their dog had grabbed a leg of cured ham off our dining room table and proceeded to munch through it all, while spreading the fatty remains all over the white carpet!). While the carpet was shot the beef almost made up for it as it was the best roast I’d ever eaten – very tender and full of flavour. By some miracle we had half left over and, while nothing beats a roast beef and chutney sandwich, I wanted to do something a bit more exotic and fresh. I therefore gathered up all the sad looking veg in the kitchen – a cauliflower, some wilting mange tout and the last of some little gem lettuce and put together a crunchy salad with thin slices of the still pink cold beef, noodles (plunged into cold water) and toasted sesame seeds. The dressing I used is the same oriental Vietnamese dressing I used before, as it’s sweet, sour and slightly spicy taste manages to make any raw or blanched vegetables taste delicious.
Boiled cauliflower can be so dull so I par-boiled it then tossed it with olive oil, turmeric powder, salt and pepper and cooked it on a very hot griddle pan until it was charred all over. This gives it a slightly caramelised, bbq taste and was delicious when cool in the salad.